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Higher Education Mental Health First Aid

This course aims to create alert individuals who are ready, willing and able to offer support within higher education settings. The training is provided by accredited MHFA qualified instructors who understand not only the bespoke syllabus but also the complexities of student life.

Course Context

This Higher Education mental health awareness and skills course was created in consultation with leading student mental health charity Student Minds. It was piloted in 16 universities and evaluated by the University of Chester.

Every Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course is delivered by a quality assured instructor who has attended the MHFA seven day instructor training programme accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health.

Participants learn practical skills that can be used every day, including how to spot the early signs of mental ill-health, explore and engage in conversation, actively LISTEN and support using internal and external ongoing care.

  • Duration: 1 day 
  • Capacity: Numbers are limited to 16 people per course so that the trainer can keep delegates safe and supported while they learn.

Who Is It For?

The Higher Education Mental Health First Aid course is for anyone who either works or studies in a higher education environment. The course gives a deeper understanding around the issues that relate to student and staff mental health.

Key Benefits

Research and evaluation show that taking part in the MHFA course:

  • Raises awareness and mental health literacy
  • Reduces stigma around mental ill-health
  • Boosts knowledge and confidence in dealing with mental health issues
  • Promotes early intervention which enables recovery

Everyone who completes the course receives a copy of the Higher Education MHFA Manual which is an excellent reference and support resource. They also get a certificate and badge to say they are a MHFA Champion – someone with the skills and confidence to advocate for mental health awareness, support a culture of wellbeing, spot signs of mental ill-health and guide a person to a place of support.

Course Content

The specialised Higher Education MHFA instructors deliver an intensive one-day course which covers a number of key topics:

  • What is mental health?
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Suicide
  • Self-harm and eating disorders
  • Psychosis
  • Mental Health First Aid action plan

The day includes a mix of presentations, group discussions and workshop activities. The trainer provides a safe learning environment where participants are supported throughout the course.

The course aims to give delegates the information and skills to look after their own mental health, promote positive wellbeing and raise awareness in the people around them. By giving delegates the tools to have these conversations, they are empowered to create a mentally healthy, supportive environment in their higher education establishment.

University Mental Health Charter

The University Mental Health Charter was launched by Student Minds in December 2019.  Co-created with staff, students and researchers from over 200 higher education institutions throughout the UK, the Charter provides a set of principles of good practice to help ensure the mental health needs of all students and staff are met.

Rosie Tressler OBE, CEO Student Minds describes the charter as, “… a key tool for universities to improve how they respond to mental health challenges and promote wellbeing across every aspect of university life”.

It will form the basis for the Charter Award Scheme which is being piloted in 3 universities during 2020 and will be launched later in the year. The voluntary scheme’s aim is to recognise and reward those universities which promote good mental health and demonstrate good practice.

A testimonial for the Higher Education MHFA course:


“The Trainer was brilliant – extremely knowledgeable, had lots of examples of experience and was really engaging – I wanted to know more.”

Related Training Courses

Mental Health Awareness Training for Managers

As managers play a key role in supporting their team members’ physical and mental health, this 1-day course endorses the importance of workplace mental health and equips managers with the basic knowledge essential to supporting a mental health diagnosis.

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Workplace MHFA 2-day course

Enlightened employers are now highlighting first aiders for both physical and mental health in the same way. This course is designed to teach participants how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health together with a set of skills which enables them to support someone experiencing mental health issues.

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SafeTALK Suicide Alertness for Everyone

Participants can expect to leave the 3-hour safeTALK course with practical knowledge, helping identify those who are at risk, confidently asking them about the topic of suicide, and connecting them with resources that can help them stay safe. Suitable for anyone in the workplace who wants to become a suicide-alert helper.

Read more

Find out more


Please get in touch with us if you have any questions.  We are always happy to talk about our courses and help you to work out the best match for your requirements.


"The quality of the training has been fantastic and our employees are really engaging with the trainer and getting something out of it. Also In Equilibrium makes the whole process very easy to arrange."

— Employee Engagement & Wellbeing Officer, Sophie Holland

"We wanted to provide a course that taught useful and practical coping strategies that our members could put into place straight away. In Equilibrium’s experience showed us that they could provide this, and they tailored the course perfectly."

— The Association of Electoral Administrators

"In-Equilibrium recently presented Mental Health Awareness to Managers in all of our area offices. The training was really well received and all of the trainers were praised for their in-depth knowledge and understanding."


— Roger Bullivant Limited

"The training was very well received by staff who now all intend to implement the session’s practical tips and techniques into their existing roles. A large proportion of the staff rated the facilitator and their delivery as excellent and their only recommendation was for a further and longer session!"

— Leeds City College

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